Deceit is unavoidable when socializing. It may even be necessary to tell a little white lie or two when needed. It could make someone’s day, or even open up new opportunities. But when that happens, it’s tempting to stack lie upon lie in the hopes it'll keep the gravy train going. That is, until one little slip-up can bring the whole house of cards down.

But it’s also a skill people can hone until they become masters at their craft. It can be fun to see these sneaks in action, as seen with the likes of Mortal Kombat's Shang Tsung, or Loki from both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the original Norse mythology. But they can be seen beyond games and movies, with these examples being the best master liars in anime.

8 Faye Valentine

Cowboy Bebop

  • Debut: Session 3- "Honky Tonk Women".
  • Last Appearance: Session 13- "Mish-Mash Blues".

Lying is just one of Faye Valentine’s flaws. After being cryogenically frozen for decades and left swamped in debt by people she thought she could trust, she wasn't in a very trusting mood. She used others to get what she wanted, then left them high and dry. Better to be the one suckering others than being a sucker herself. Plus, it got her the woolongs she needed to ease her debt, buy booze and cigs, and gamble wherever she could.

She tried to scam Spike and Jet too, even trying to take the Bebop spaceship for herself. But no matter what she did, she’d find herself back in their crew. Before meeting them, she thought deception was a part of life. Nothing good happened to her when she trusted others, so why should she bother? But by the end of the series, she gave the Bebop crew a chance, and found a place to stay with them.

7 Arataka Reigen

Mob Psycho 100

  • Debut: Episode 1- "Self-Proclaimed Psychic: Reigen Arataka ~and Mob~".
  • Last Appearance: Episode 37- "Confession ~The Future~".

Like Faye, Arataka Reigen has to deceive to earn a living. Only it's much more literal in his case. In a series where actual psychics exist, Reigen is a mere pretender (and thus more like psychics in real life). With his quick wits and gift of the gab, he was able to convince enough people that he’s the “Greatest Psychic of the 21st Century”. One that's willing to use his 'powers' for good causes too, albeit at a price via his 'Spirits & Such Consultation Office'.

Even Mob thought he was legitimate, and sought his help in controlling his real psychic powers. Instead, Reigen hired him to carry out jobs that required actual psychic intervention, while he flim-flammed the rest. Still, despite his lies, he has a strong moral compass. He does genuinely try to help others, including Mob, despite being an ordinary guy with a smart mouth and a keen eye for detail. Even so, he still has to lie to get his daily bread.

6 Laurent Thierry

Great Pretender

  • Debut: Episode 1- "Los Angeles Connection (Case 1.1)".
  • Last Appearance: Episode 23- "Wizards of Far East (Case 4.9)".

Reigen isn’t the only conman with a heart of gold. In Great Pretender, Makoto is left adrift when he takes the fall for his old company’s fraudulent activities. Unable to get honest work to help pay for his mother’s medical bills, he decides to become a con artist to get enough money for her. The problem is he isn’t very good at it. Luckily, his failed mark, Laurent Thierry, is willing to take him under his wing.

Laurent is the head of a con artist group called Team Confidence, and an expert thief and scammer in his own right. But like Reigen, he doesn’t use his sharp wit and silver tongue to punch down. He only goes after the rich and corrupt, like the man who tricked his late mother into giving away her life savings. If that hadn’t happened, he planned on becoming a diplomat, a job which might require telling some little white lies too.

5 Walter C.Dornez


  • Debut: Episode 2- "Club M".
  • Last Appearance: Hellsing 10 (Hellsing Ultimate).

No matter how golden their hearts are, liars like Reigen and Faye still knew they were deceiving others to aid their own self-interests. They were character flaws that they had to come to terms with and overcome. Still, not every liar worries about doing the right thing or has a sad background story. They can be outright villains who’ll stop at nothing to achieve their goals, like Hellsing’s Walter C.Dornez.

For years, he served the titular organization as the butler to its head, Integra. He was also one of its best operatives, earning the nickname ‘Angel of Death’ for his lethal precision. But it would turn out he was a double-agent for the neo-Nazi Millennium Organization. He only slipped into Hellsing's ranks to revive his former “friend” Alucard. Then he'd try to kill him with his newfound vampire powers, which didn't quite work out for him.

4 King Bradley

Fullmetal Alchemist

  • Debut: Episode 6- "The Alchemy Exam" (2003), Episode 1- "Fullmetal Alchemist" (FMA: Brotherhood)
  • Last Appearance: Episode 51- "Laws and Promises" (2003), Episode 61- "He Who Would Swallow God" (FMA: Brotherhood).

At first, King Bradley was a fairly neutral figure as the leader of Amestris. He wasn’t exactly a good guy, as he’d instigate conflicts against Amestris’ neighboring countries in a bid to gain more territory. But he could be a pleasant person, often helping the Elric brothers in one way or another, and warning them and his military about possible traitors aiding the Homunculi.

But this was all a ruse. He was a Homunculus himself, representing Wrath (or Pride in the 2003 anime). His true identity was teased in prior scenes, like his barely repressed rage at a funeral. The pieces just didn’t fall together until Father needed the Elrics and Izumi as potential sacrifices. That’s when he had to plot directly against them and their allies, revealing his true colors.

3 Makoto Itō

School Days

  • Debut: Episode 1- "Confession".
  • Last Appearance: Episode 12- "School Days".

Makoto Itō is a strange case. In the original visual novels, he’s a weak-willed, indecisive guy that has to settle for one of his prospective loves or another or suffer the consequences in one of the bad endings. In other words, he's pretty much the typical otome game lead, as the player also eventually has to pick one person to love. In the anime, he’s a selfish two-timer who lies to both of his love interests to get what he wants.

The School Days games could end in grisly ways if players made the wrong choices. Studio TNK just decided to make their Makoto make even worse ones. He can’t settle for either Kotonoha or Sekai because he wants both for his libido, but he isn’t responsible enough to handle the fallout of his actions. As such, he becomes the first victim in the anime’s infamous final episode.

2 Light Yagami

Death Note

  • Debut: Episode 1- "Rebirth".
  • Last Appearance: Episode 37- "New World".

For a guy called ‘Light’, he sure likes keeping people in the dark. Once Light Yagami realizes he has the power over life and death via the Death Note, he uses it for all it's worth in a bid to rid the world of evil. He'd make a new, more peaceful world, and he'd become its god. Using the Death Note to kill criminals and other corrupt figures, he gains a reputation as 'Kira', a god to some, a menace to others, and a threat to everyone else.

Yet he still had to convince others he was still an ordinary high school student. He'd lie about his whereabouts and activities to his friends and family, and use others to keep the heat off his back. Some would even become names in his Death Note. However, he wasn't as infallible as he thought he was, as all his lies would gradually get untangled. The best he could do was retangle them as much as he could until he was exposed.

1 Kyubey

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

  • Debut: Episode 1- "I First Met Her in a Dream...Or Something"
  • Last Appearance: Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion.

The sliest way to lie is to lie by omission. Telling half of a truth can be enough to sway people one way or another, then by the time they figure out the other half, the liar will be off scot-free. Case in point, Kyubey. They’re a twisted take on the cutesy animal sidekicks who’d provide exposition in magical girl shows, like Luna in Sailor Moon and Cerberus in Cardcaptor Sakura. Only instead of being all sweet, they're an emotionless sociopath willing to do anything to achieve their goals.

They grant wishes to young girls in exchange for turning them into magical girls to help fight off the witches. However, they don’t mention doing this turns their soul into a power source that kills the girls once it runs out. Or that the witches are magical girls whose souls were tainted by their grief. Likewise, their wishes come with loopholes, like limiting Homura’s time powers to keep her from stopping them. For a cat-like creature, they act more like a snake.